Mel Bosworth is the author of When the Cats Razzed the Chickens & Other Stories (Folded Word Press, 2009).
what are you reading now
Kamby Bolongo Mean River by Robert Lopez. Me see him read in September. Him read good. Me buy book, shake hand. Words like nerf bullets fired from boom stick. Words fast, hit hard, but always nerf.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
Moby Dick by Uncle Melville. I’ve been meaning to read it for years but I have this fear it’s going to bore me to death. But once I sit down and dig in I’m sure I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Maybe.
last book you finished in a single sitting
I read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in a single sitting, but that’s a short one. I’m not the fastest reader in the east, so even if I’m tearing through a book it takes me at least 2-3 days. I like to make friends with the books I read. Take them places. Take naps with them. Age with them. Then when I’m finished it’s kind of sad, like saying goodbye. When I run into them years later I’ll say, “My friend!” (I honestly do this.)
strangest book you’ve ever read
Wow. Hm. Strangest. The strangest movie I’ve seen is Dee Snider’s Strangeland. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because of the word “strange.” Or maybe that was the funniest movie I’ve seen. No, that would be Leaving Las Vegas. Watching Nicholas Cage fill a shopping cart with booze gets me every time. But we’re supposed to be talking about books, right? Books. The strangest book I’ve ever read would have to be… Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley. Read it from cover to cover. Not sure why. I don’t think I’ve been the same since.
book you borrowed and never returned
I’m not that guy. Although I did hang onto a copy of Lolita for a couple of years. I recently gave it back.
weirdest dream involving a book, writer, or literary character
Well, I once had this dream where I was making breakfast for Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Walt was all grumpy. He may have been hung over. Emily was at the window, talking to a squirrel. I was at the stove pushing around bacon and eggs in a big frying pan. The bacon popped and hot oil landed on my forearm. I screamed and then Walt screamed and then Emily screamed. I turned to see Walt with the squirrel in his mouth. Emily was kneeling on the tile, scribbling furiously on a napkin. Walt pulled a big knife from his boot. He scratched words into the tabletop as he chewed the squirrel. I wrapped my arm in a towel and then served breakfast. Walt didn’t eat because he wasn’t hungry. This pissed me off and I scolded him but he didn’t care. Emily ate a little bit of egg, but she was more interested in having me read aloud what she’d written. So I did:
Whitman is an asshole. He ate my friend, the squirrel. Bad beard, crazy man. Breakfasts, fools, longing for a solitary now lunch.
Walt got all agro for a second and made like he was going to hit her. When she flinched he laughed and then asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I told him to get his coat. When he left the room I apologized to Emily for his horrible table manners. She just shrugged. Then I noticed what Walt had carved into the table:
Wally loves Emily.
Then Dickinson morphed into a rose bush. Walt returned with his coat. When he saw the rose bush he cried and cried and then leapt out the window. I lifted a forkful of delicious looking egg to my mouth and then woke up.
funniest book title
Anna Karenina. I credit Tolstoy for inadvertently inventing the name game.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
Naked Pictures of My Ex-Girlfriends by Mark Helfrich. Well, to be honest, I didn’t buy the book nor was it my coffee table on which it was planted. But I did campaign pretty hard for the purchase and placement. It was enjoyed by men who reeked of hot sauce and chicken wings. A few women may have enjoyed it as well. I don’t know that it truly impressed anyone, but the book had some fans, that’s for sure. I miss that book. I wonder where it is now. I hope it’s safe. I should find its phone number, give it a call, late at night, whisper, weep.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
Annalemma. Because it comes from a planet far superior to ours. It has to. No other explanation.
best thing you’ve read online recently
“Attendance” by Eric Beeny.
most anticipated upcoming release
Light and Trials of Light by Cynthia Reeser
recommended reading list:
Ten Books I Read Once, Enjoyed, But May Never Read Again
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- The Aeneid by Virgil
- Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr.
- Hunger by Knut Hamsun
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
- The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Reality Is What You Can Get Away With by Robert Anton Wilson
- Listen, Little Man! by Wilhelm Reich